A View from the Top
Admiral James O. Ellis, U.S. Navy
Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe
Commander, Allied Forces Southern Europe
Commander, Joint Task Force NOBLE ANVIL
During Operation ALLIED FORCE
This is NOT:
♦ The story of the ALLIED FORCE air campaign
♦ Statistics, facts and figures
♦ What your staffs and component commanders can tell you better
♦ AH good news
This IS an attempt to give you:
♦ A senior Commander's unique perspectives and very
♦ Thoughts on how the next Joint Force Commander
can fight his campaign even better
♦ A springboard for open and frank discussion
There Is Much Good News
The most precise and lowest collateral damage air
campaign... in history
♦ Achieved all objectives — at the strategic, operational and tactical
levels of war
♦ Zero aircrews lost in 78 days of round-the-clock ops and over
38,000 combat sorties
♦ NATO's largest combat operation in its history
♦ 1 3 of 1 9 allies contributed forces... 305 aircraft, almost 1 5,000
♦ Many operational firsts... but most importantly...
Impressive combat debuts:
♦ B-2 / JDAM "Global Reach— Global Power" concept
♦ SLAM-equipped P-3C AIP
♦ TLAMS launched by the Royal Navy - 2 1 launched from HMS
SPLENDID (and reloaded in-theater)
4 C-17 made possible the first-time air deployment of a major,
multi-role Army force of Ml s, M2s, MLRS, 1 05 and 1 55
howitzers, and engineer equipment
♦ JWAC Tier-4 Collateral Damage predictive modeling validated... time
after time.. .in combat
And broad, multi-dimensional non-combat theater ops
Highly effective and superbly executed... but politically
♦ Air strikes were effective against VJ armor only after the UCK
launched its major offensive
♦ UCK forced the defending forces to uncover and mass their armor
and mechanized forces
♦ Q36/Q37 highly effective in identifying VJ indirect fire assets...
but work remains on "sensor-to-shooter"
After the air campaign, significant ground forces were still
required to occupy and secure the area.
Just what is a major campaign?
♦ If Serbia took 78 days...
♦ Is everything except SWA and Korea to be a "No Plan" start?
What does that portend for planning, presence levels
and required capabilities?
♦ CVBG / ARG presence in the EUCOM AOR?
♦ Army mobility and deployability?
♦ joint war reserves and sustainability?
♦ The future of low density / high demand assets?
Short War Syndrome
We called this one absolutely wrong ...
♦ Affected much of what followed:
□ JTF activation, staff composition, facilities, command and
control, logistics and execution
□ Lack of Coherent campaign planning
□ Lack of adequate component staffing
□ The race to find suitable targets
♦ OPLAN focused on brief, single-dimension combat
Q Deception, diversion St feint opportunities lost
□ We failed to plan for branches and sequels
What will we do next time?
JTF-NA was not formed around a pre-designated
(and trained) theater staff
♦ Past paradigms have focused on training and planning for 3-
star JTF Commanders only
♦ But major coalition operations of this magnitude require
decisive and senior U.S. leadership (4-star)
♦ AFSOUTH / CNE was uniquely positioned to synchronize U.S.
and alliance operations
Implications for theater postures for future?
♦ Training and broad investment required
♦ Manning/ infrastructure/ exercise regimes
Affects every aspect of planning and execution
♦ Caused "incremental war" instead of decisive operations
♦ Excessive collateral damage concerns created sanctuaries... and
opportunities... for the adversary - which were successfully
♦ We did not anticipate the difficulties of NATO out-of-charter
♦ Ruling out a ground option corrupted JFLCC continuity,
removed campaign planning, challenged G2, and resulted in a
hasty last minute ground planning effort
Lack of the credible threat of ground invasion probably
prolonged the air campaign
♦ Although never committed to action, TF HAWK was "their
worst nightmare" for enemy forces in Kosovo
o The focus of a particularly effective PSYOP effort
♦ Our only "sequential plan" was to do more of the same... with
♦ Only the enemy could decide the war was over
Never say never... or deny yourself credible options
Lack of a Ground Component Commander was a mistake
♦ Even absent a combat ground offensive, the planning and
staffing capabilities that an ARFOR would have provided were
♦ Shifted significant ground planning responsibilities to the JTF
staff - only marginally prepared to handle myriad issues
pertaining to Initial Entry Force for Kosovo and TF FALCON
You won't always know what you need until you need it
The new ''American Way of War"...
* Proud to be an American... only nation in the world with all
the tools (analytic, modeling, platforms, weapons, training,
♦ But our allies cannot match us...
♦ And adversaries will inflict as much CD as possible
♦ Very expensive... investment required to maintain and improve
capabilities (in all areas)
♦ Creates public expectations... every incident is a perceived
failure and will be exploited publicly
Or self-inflicted asymmetric warfare?
We may own the night... but poor weather creates sanctuaries and
♦ Precision-guided is no longer "good enough"
♦ We experienced greater than 50% cloud cover more than 70%
of the time... and it wasn't the worst part of the year
♦ Laser or EO-guided munitions cannot hit what the pilots
♦ JDAM expenditure equaled the production rate
GPS-guidance is a requirement and the way ahead... invest
accordingly... allies too
At once a great success... and perhaps the greatest failure of the
♦ First IO Cell activated at the JTF-Ievel
♦ All the tools are in place... only a few were used
♦ Great people... with great access to leadership... but too junior
and from the wrong communities to have the required impact
on planning and execution
♦ Incredible potential... must become our asymmetric "point of
main effort' 7 ... but not yet understood by war fighters... and
classified beyond their access
Properly executed, IO could have halved the length of the
Not a shining moment for the U.S. or NATO
♦ The enemy was better at this than we were... and far more
Public Info &
♦ The enemy deliberately and criminally killed innocents by the
thousand... but no one saw it
♦ We accidentally killed innocents sometimes by the dozens...
and the world watched on the evening news
♦ We were continuously reacting, investigating and trying to
answer "how could this happen?"
♦ Milosevic had informational "interior lines"
A much underutilized instrument of national and alliance power-
ignore it at your peril
Great technology... but needs controls...
♦ Information saturation is additive to "the fog of war"
♦ The demand for info will always exceed the capability to
provide it... how much is enough?
♦ You can have too much staff coordination... and for issues that
don't require it
♦ Still need to "push" critical info vice "posting it" on the web
page... no substitute for record traffic
♦ You can only manage from your DTC... you cannot lead from
After 78 days of hard campaigning, we effected little degradation
on a modern IADS system
♦ Redundant systems and well-trained operators with the
discipline to wait for a better opportunity
♦ Affected tactical employment of airpower throughout the war
campaign (stressed LD/HD assets)
Will we train for this environment... or continue to assume we
can take IADS down early?
Re-Looking IADS Roll
The enemy benefited from:
♦ The NCA/ NAC target approval processes
♦ Our poor OPSEC posture (NATO and US)
♦ Our inability to wage full IO campaign
♦ Our self-suspension on cluster munitions
♦ Our standards for limiting Collateral Damage
♦ Our aversion to US casualties... and ground combat
♦ Our reactive vs. proactive Public Info/ Public Affairs
All of the above slowed the "Decide— Act" side of our own
OODA loops... and reduced our control of the operational tempo
The next adversary will as well... and may take far better
advantage of it
Not yet the "Three Block War" ...but not the Iraqi desert either
♦ Future campaigns will have more target areas like Belgrade
than Basra... or Route Pack I
♦ Ups the political constraints by an order of magnitude
♦ Allows adversaries to utilize CNN to their best advantage...
yields informational "interior lines"
We were lucky... but luck is not a principle of war for the next
Low density assets were absolutely in high demand
♦ Impacts of this campaign will be felt for years (platforms,
systems, reliability, parts, personnel, retention, replacement
♦ The density cannot remain low
♦ Regardless of service, an issue for joint funding at the highest
♦ We do not leave home without them
And without them... we cannot leave home
We succeeded. But what if...
♦ The enemy had attacked front line allies with ground forces...
or theater ballistic missiles?
♦ The enemy had gotten even a few POWs... or KIAs?
♦ Invasion became the only option?
♦ The FRY submarine had sortied?
♦ We were still fighting in winter weather?
♦ We'd expended our precision munitions stocks?
♦ Public support had weakened or evaporated?
♦ France... or Italy (bed down)... had said "enough"?
♦ North Korea or Iraq had attacked?
We won't know until the next time